Our transition from homeschooling to the kids’ charter school has gone well. I have been really proud of Julian, Madelyn and Kalen and how they have adapted their lifestyles. Brayden has rolled with the punches and has actually come out on top with a lot of alone time spent with just me. We have experienced a lot of highs and some lows. I think we have done well to take several things into account when we step back and evaluate how our day has gone. When the kids get in the van each afternoon, after a day at school I ask them, “Thumps up day or thumps down day?” They each give me their vote and, of course, Brayden pipes up with his opinion of his day’s events as well.
How am I doing? Well, alright. Today, I am happy. It is Saturday and we spent the entire day together as a family. What greater day could be conjured up? Within our past several weeks of trying out the kids’ new school, I have often felt a little worn out from all the carting to and fro. It is a lot of work prepping kids for school, transporting them downtown, volunteering within their school, picking them up, cleaning their lunch boxes out, helping them with homework and effectively tuning into where they are emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically. I have not known this way of life. I have a greater respect now for parents and grandparents that equip their kids daily for their school day. It is a lot of work.
The newness that I have felt has been both exciting and challenging. I miss homeschooling. I miss the comfort of it. It is truly wonderful to leisurely let your day unfold within your home. It is a lot of work to homeschool, but you create your own. The day is steered by you. You have more control. Ahhh, I have stumbled upon something here, don’t you think? I have less control!
Each Friday, the kids at Central Park School for Children all gather in the big room for F.A.M. (Friday Afternoon Meeting). There are about three classes per grade (K-5) that come and mesh together for this anchor within their school’s week. The director speaks to the kids and then there will be some sort of presentation. Yesterday, Julian’s class was up in front of the entire school presenting on the theme of recycling. In Julian’s class, each student had been working on activist projects. Julian’s theme was recycling. He had shared Jack Johnson’s 3 R’s song with the class and proposed that they perform it during F.A.M. one week. Sure enough, Scott, Brayden and I showed up for F.A.M yesterday and his class was singing it while playing ukuleles. Then, my cute little guy was able to stand in front of the entire school and talk about recycling and why they were involved in this activist project. How about that for stepping out of the box?! Tears welled in my eyes as I watched Julian stand so proudly and confidently in front of his crowd. He looked for Scott and I and found that both sets of our eyes were locked on him with great joy and pride. He smiled widely. I’d never seen Julian wear that sort of smile.
Our children are spreading their wings and the newness that comes with that can be a little painful, but can also bring growth, confidence and joy.